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by Jack McDevitt

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-105207-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

 Astonishingly, North Dakota farmer Tom Lasker unearths a perfectly preserved 42-foot sailboat from his wheatfield. More remarkable still, the boat is made of materials unknown to science- -and has probably lain buried for ten thousand years, since it last sailed the waters of an ancient glacial lake. While tourists line up to goggle at the boat--its automatic lights still work--Tom's pilot friend Max Collingswood and scientist April Cannon wonder whether there's a boathouse, too. Sure enough, a geophysics survey reveals a mysterious structure buried on the nearby Sioux reservation. Max and April negotiate permission to dig and soon uncover a glassy circular building that contains a transporter device connecting it to another planet hundreds of light-years away. But, clearly, these advanced technologies threaten global economic stability, and the President comes under pressure to secure the building and destroy it (having, apparently, forgotten about the a sailboat, which Tom has already sold). The Sioux resist, however, and just as a dreadful slaughter seems unavoidable, Max ferries in a planeload of luminaries to broadcast the truth of the world. From familiar components, McDevitt (The Engines of God, 1994, etc.) has fashioned a solidly engrossing tale that, despite some plot wobbles, brims with low-key attractions.